Built for the Web, Ad Server OpenX Invests Heavily In Mobile

Eyeballs Moving To Mobile, So Ad-Tech Does Too

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As audiences continue to migrate to mobile, ad-tech companies built to serve traditional display ads are scrambling to adapt.

OpenX president John Gentry
OpenX president John Gentry Credit: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages

OpenX, an ad independent ad server that is a distant second to Google, is joining the party too. The company today announced the hiring of four new mobile executives: mobile general manager Rob Kramer, VP engineering and chief architect Jin Yu, VP publisher solutions Laura Buchman and senior director of product Martin Price. All the positions are newly created at OpenX. The four joined the company within the past two months.

"The mobile advertising market is still nascent, but the opportunity it presents is immense," said OpenX president John Gentry. "We're excited to welcome these talented individuals to help us achieve our multiscreen monetization vision."

OpenX also plans to double its current mobile-focused team of 30 to about 60. The new team will support OpenX's in-app capabilities, enhance its mobile video and rich media offering and work to build out its cross screen data and analytics functionality.

While the investment is bold, earning a significant return will be challenging given the gulf between mobile and desktop CPMs. "There's a pacing question in mobile," said Mr. Gentry. "The consumers are already there but the ad dollars haven't followed the consumers at the same pace."

Still, Mr. Gentry told Ad Age, it would be impossible to leave mobile alone. "There's universal agreement across the industry that this is the future," he said. "The fact that consumers are going to consume all their content across a variety of screens is inevitable, so to build a business and chart a path that ignores that future inevitability would be a really unfortunate decision."

OpenX served over 84 billion impressions in September according to Evidon's Ad Delivery Index, making it ad-tech's second biggest company in terms of impressions served, but still far behind Google. It has raised over $75 million dollars to date, including a $22.5 million dollar round earlier this year led by Samsung Venture Investment Corporation.

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